Generally speaking, the more complex a poem or piece of pottery is, the more advanced it is and the later it falls in the chronology.Egyptologists, for example, created a relative chronology of pre-pharaonic Egypt based on increasing complexity in ceramics found at burial sites.Therefore, some other method is used to discover the dates of various rock formations.
Whenever possible, researchers use one or more absolute dating methods, which provide an age for the actual fossil or artifact.
Unlike observation-based relative dating, most absolute methods require some of the find to be destroyed by heat or other means.
Afterward, the amount of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 in their remains decreases.
Measuring carbon-14 in bones or a piece of wood provides an accurate date, but only within a limited range.
Methods fall into one of two categories: relative or absolute.